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Author Topic: Bitcoin DoS through forks and mining economic incentives  (Read 59 times)
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November 13, 2017, 10:54:11 AM

Following the recent events, I thought that the following issue should be addressed.
Recently forks become more common, and in contrast to usual alts, bitcoin forks usually keep the same hash problem, and as such, they are competing on the exact same miners. BCH miners are BTC miners and vice versa.

Think about the following scenario. Two coins compete for the same mining power. Suppose we give one of the coins an unstable difficulty scheme, such that once in a while it's easier to mine its coins. Just as an example, suppose the forked coin protocol defined that 50 coins are given for each block on every odd week, but 100 coins are given for each block on every even week, (and the difficulty is kept the same as it was the week before), so it's much more profitable to mine blocks in the even weeks, and the mining power shifts to the forked coin on every even week.

Suppose also that original bitcoin network is directed by a spam attack, and you get a situation where the bitcoin network will suffer from a very slow block generation and transaction confirmations, every even week.

Of course, this scenario is just one example, that demonstrates what might happen when two coins compete on the same resources, an irregular behavior of one could affect the other one and cause an even worse irregularity, sometimes on a regular basis.
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